World Cup organising chief Danny Jordaan today praised the "incredible" efforts of the South African Police Service, who have stepped in at short notice to provide stadium security at half the tournament venues following a steward strike.
SAPS officers took over security in Port Elizabeth before the World Cup began and industrial action over pay involving temporary contractors working for Stallion Security Consortium has forced the police to step in at Johannesburg venues Soccer City and Ellis Park and at the venues in Cape Town and Durban.
Local organising committee chief executive Jordaan stressed that the strike emphasised the need to "always have a plan B", and further contingency preparations may have to come into play if rumours surrounding a strike by Eskom workers, the company which supports the national electricity grid, turn out to be correct.
"Long before kick-off we had gone through various scenarios of 'what if?' so that the police could deal with the scenario that we now have, and they have done an incredible job," he said.
The police's support will of course come at an additional cost to FIFA and the LOC which will put a dent in tournament profits, though Jordaan would not enter into any specifics.
He also made the point that industrial action has affected the World Cup before, recalling his experiences of strikes at Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris at the beginning and end of the 1998 tournament.